Each time I visit another country, and slip into the lives of others, I expect it to be as simple as moving from one room to the next, or perhaps visiting a neighbour.
Sometimes I get so annoyed with myself for not making the transition smoothly. For struggling with things being so different.
This time I flew from Genova, with it's low of 7+ celsius to Aberdeenshire, with yesterday's -6 celsius. I bemoaned that fact that I just couldn't get warm. My feet were blocks of ice, those first 3 days, until well after lunch. I fretted about running out of fire wood, had to be lured outside to walk the dog and take photographs in the snow, and just seemed to be taking a horribly long time to adjust to this place where Nature is absolute ruler.
What I was failing to understand was that this was the process of adjustment. That it wasn't going to be easy to make the climate shift because most of the clothes in my suitcase are for the Southern Hemisphere summer I fly to next, and that made me uneasy. But more than that, I was out of my comfort zone, out here in the silence of rural Scotland.
So here I am, nestling into my daughter's family and learning (as so many parents surely must) that she's not a mini-me. She's her very own, strong and independent woman.. She took me out walking last night. Just her and I, and Orin, the little wolf dog. And finally I could feel that the air was soft, and quite gentle, and that the peace wasn't quite so peaceful but full of animal sounds, when we stopped moving to listen. And that yes, the dark was quite dark, with no street lights or houses but it was fine too. We could see enough, and we had a torch, so we could be seen.
This morning, my first two attempts at lighting the fire have failed but I'll get there. I need to chop the logs down a bit more and make kindling but people are sleeping. Yesterday's fire was a grand one ... in the end. Although some Newbie errors happened, making me laugh as seemed to be inhabiting a life not unlike Mr Bean's twin sister. Fire alarms went off, vent knobs fell off ... you know.
Last night I made Persian Chicken and I'm sure that's some kind of revealing act in this life of mine. Once I'm cooking, I've almost 'arrived'.
And today, well I'm waiting but I do believe I'll be asking when we can go out for a walk :-)
Best of all, I'm catching up with family and that is surely the whole reason for being here.